The Isaiah Journey (formerly ‘Let’s Be Honest’) is a working group of the Bishops’ Conference that has grown out of the need for a pastoral-spiritual response to the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse in the Church.
Inspired by the writing of the prophet Isaiah, it has three strands:
The prophet Isaiah describes himself as ‘A voice of one calling, ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’ (Isaiah 40:3)
This invites us on a journey to face the truth of the anguish of those who have been impacted by abuse. In listening to survivors, families and communities, we begin the work of ‘preparing a way’ for God’s healing and renewal through our repentance and desire to respond.
Isaiah gives the words which Jesus uses at the beginning of his earthly ministry:
Jesus stood up to read in the synagogue at Nazareth; the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him, and he unrolled it and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:16-21 quoting Isaiah 61:1-2)
Jesus embodies the words of the prophet Isaiah and we, as baptised members of his Body, the Church, are called and anointed by the gift of the Holy Spirit to do the same.
Isaiah writes that the Messiah (and by implication those who follow him) is a healer: ‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged until he has established justice in the earth’. Isaiah 42:3-4
Many in the Church have been broken and their faith extinguished. Together as people of God, we seek to
acknowledge the immense harm that has been inflicted. We intend not to ‘grow faint or weary or be discouraged’, but with renewed trust, we believe in God’s power to bring healing and hope, to victims and survivors, families and communities and the wider church.
Pastoral Resources for the wounded Body of Christ, the Church, to accompany the journey of lament, healing and hope. The Isaiah Journey – a Working Group of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales.